The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the inclusive growth is high on the priorities of the present Government and the Government will take adequate measures to ensure social security for the children, women and senior citizens of the country. The Finance Minister was making the Opening Remarks during his Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of different Social Sector Groups here today.
Various suggestions were made by the representatives of the different Social Sector Groups during the aforesaid meeting. Some of the major suggestions made during the meeting include increase in old age pension from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500, increase in pension for widows, inclusion of grandparents as a separate entity under Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana (RSBY). Other suggestions include higher allocation for Integrated Child Protection Schemes, need to recruit trained and qualified teachers to meet the requirements of Right to Education (RTE) Act2009, need to increase allocation for training of School Management Committee members and strengthen community mobilization.Other suggestions include increased budgetary allocation in secondary education and universalize education for children upto 18 years of age and improving financial transparency in Sarv Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and thereby improving the implementation of RTE Act across the country.
Other suggestions included insurance to farmers as a major initiative to address the distress in agriculture sector and for achieving higher agriculture growth, adequate provisioning towards a comprehensive and universal crop insurance scheme, extending crop insurance to all farmers for all crops and considering lower units as a unit of insurance with 100% insurance premium to be borne by the Government. Other suggestions in this regard include provisioning of higher credit and other input subsidies to small and marginal farmers, tenant farmers and farmers with oral lease, increase budgetary allocation for National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under Krishi Unnati Yojana and for strengthening the institutional mechanism for better utilization of available funds under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
Other suggestions included creation of National Social Security Board with sufficient budgetary allocation for providing social security to the workers of unorganized sector as well as provision of interest subvention for economically weaker sections and low income group sections for taking benefit under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Other suggestions included adequacy of budgetary resources for social sector, enhancing budget transparency at the district and sub-district level among others.
Suggestions were also made to address violence against women by making adequate budgetary outlays in the forthcoming Union Budget for implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, assistance for construction of shelter homes for single woman/destitutes and widows, utilization of ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ to institute substantive interventions for sector like health, urban development, public transport, education and other sectors that have a bearing on the safety of women. In order to meet the nutritional needs of women and girls, it was suggested to make higher allocations for Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana, review and scaling-up of Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, higher allocation for ICDS Scheme and strengthening ‘Gender Responsive Budgeting’ among others.